Data from Google searches show how oat milk interest has exploded in the last 3-4 years, explaining why investors have been rushing to invest in Oatly. Prior to 2019, oat milk was searched for slightly less than competitors soy milk and even rice milk, with almond milk dominating the "alternative milk" segment by a wide margin.
As customer concerns about the health of cow milk have grown (a glass of dairy milk allegedly emits three times as many greenhouse gases as plant-based milks), some environmentally aware customers have started to look for alternatives. This has greatly benefited oat milk manufacturers, propelling oat milk to the rank of second most common alternative milk.
Source: Google Search Trends, chartr